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While She Was Away

 
"Ten... nine... eight..." intoned the voice slowly; she was gone before he reached seven.
 
Sylvie found herself walking across a field of the brightest emerald green, her bare feet caressed by soft blades of grass. She looked down to see that she was wearing a dress she didn't remember owning, a long gown of pale lavender floaty gauze. The warm breeze played in her long hair, creating a mess of gentle tangles, and Sylvie laughed in pure joy, though she had no idea where she was.
 
Seeing a sparkling stream nearby, she followed it through the hillside 'til she came to a small cottage that appeared to be quite old.  As she walked down the path the door creaked open and an old woman stepped out and called to her by name.  "Sylvie, come here child, I've made a lunch for us to share."
 
Surprised that the old lady knew her, but pleased none the less and sensing no danger, Sylvie followed her around to the back of the cottage where a small wooden table and two chairs sat in the midst of a beautiful garden of wildflowers, purple and blue, pink and orange, a rainbow of  blossoms.
 
Seating herself in the chair across from the old woman, Sylvie surveyed her plate which held delicate cucumber sandwiches, a salad of nuts, greens and berries, and tiny teacakes sprinkled with colored sugar. She watched as the old lady poured her a glass of tea.  "Go ahead child, eat!" said the old lady who introduced herself as Fiori, "I've been waiting for you to come, we've much to talk about!" 
 
Realizing at that moment how hungry and thirsty she was, Sylvie tasted the food and drink, and found it to be wonderful.  She looked up curiously to find Fiori smiling, and waited for her to begin speaking while she ate.
 
"Do  you remember when you were small and you used to come and visit me?" Fiori said.
 
Sylvie had to admit that she didn't, but still, there was something that seemed very familiar about the old woman. 
 
"We used to share cookies and tea and have long talks about life and what it would be like when you grew older.  We talked about the happy times to come, and the hard things you would have to go through on your way to growing up."  "But as you got older you stopped believing" Fiori said wistfully, as her voice trailed off.   "It's been so long since I've seen you," she continued, her eyes sparkling.  "You look so happy now, just as I used to tell you that someday you would be.  See... in the end everything works out just right, doesn't it?"
 
Sylvie grew quiet, and then responded, "For a long time I didn't think so, it seemed that my life just kept getting worse and worse.  Every time I believed in someone it turned out to be a mistake.  Then finally, one day not too many years ago, I realized that I was going about life all wrong.  I was trying to make things happen then way I wanted, trying to force my life to fit me, instead of letting God change me and give me what was best.  Once I stopped trying to control things and handed it over to God amazing things began to happen.  And yes, look at me now; in just a few years my life has changed completely!  I am happy in ways I never thought were possible!  That doesn't mean that every day is good and everything that happens is fun, but I have learned that if I hold tight and keep believing, it will work itself out and I will be ok."
 
"That's the secret, Sylvie, that's what I tried to tell you but you had to find out on your own... most folks do.  We have to believe;  it really is that simple.  When we believe we learn to trust, and we have reason to hope.  When we believe good things begin to happen, faith attracts light and love!" 
 
"Wake up, Sylvie, wake up now! Open your eyes!"  Sylvie heard the voice from some far away place and groaned at the intrusion.  Moving through the fog, she opened her eyes as commanded, squinting at the glaring light overhead. Ah yes, now she remembered... the operating room... the mask over her face... the surgery... it must be over.  Her eyelids were still feeling much too heavy to hold open, so she drifted gently back to sleep, smiling as she waved goodbye to Fiori who smiled back and faded softly away."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This post was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt choices this week are think and sleep...
Come and join us there!

22 comments:

  1. A very creative modern fairy tale! It is indeed amazing how the mind works to protect us, and sleep can help us sort things out. Nice story, Ms. Two Shoes.

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    1. Thank you Annie, I totally loved writing this one, it came easy!

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  2. Beautiful story. I wonder if this is your own story from the operation. Haha!

    This is really nice. It reminded me of the book 'The Shack' - the lead character, a father who lost his youngest daughter to a murdered, was able to spend a weekend with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Beautiful story, just like this is ;o)

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    1. Thank you Abelle! I wish I would have had a dream like that during my anesthesia, but sadly, I remember nothing. This was a bit of creative play to help alleviate my feels about anesthesia in general... it scares me, I don't like being "shut down"! :-)

      I have read the book The Shack, it was incredible, so many wonderful things to think about!!

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  3. Hi, loved the ending. I love poetic prose and this ending was executed so well. "Her eyelids were still feeling much too heavy to hold open, so she drifted gently back to sleep, smiling as she waved goodbye to Fiori who smiled back and faded softly away." I hope I have a lovely dream tomorrow during my surgery.

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    1. Thank you Mary, when I can, I like to add fun endings to my story... something to make you smile, groan or shake your head at my weirdness! :-) I wish that you could have had a dream like this one, and me too. I have known some people under anesthesia who did indeed to lovely places!

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  4. This is a wonderful story, Josie. And a very true for many of us fortunate souls. It reminded me of the "Macarthur Park" song, about the dream we cannot dream again. One we do not want to be awakened from.
    "I don't think that I can take it
    'Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I'll never have that recipe again
    Oh noooooo, o-oh no-ooooo"

    Read more: Richard Harris - Macarthur Park Lyrics | MetroLyrics
    ..
    My grandfather once lived in a little house like that. He had gone to Arkansas to make his fortune there farming. But the rocky soil was not productive like the loamy soil he had left in Nebraska. I have old and recent pictures of the house. It has been torn down since my last one. (I liked the article from which you gave 'credit' for your picture. Our one-room country school also had a dunce hat and a hardware-store yard stick. I never saw the dunce hat being used in my eight years there but the yard stick needed replacinq quite often.)
    ..

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    1. Thank you Jim! I do indeed remember that song! How enchanting it would be to find a little cottage like this in the middle of no where. There would surely be some magic about the place, maybe fairies and such! :-) This is one of the rare times when I wrote the story and then went hunting for an illustration, and found the perfect one! Most often I start with a photo prompt and write my story to fit. I did not attend a one-room school, but both of my parents and several of my cousins sure did!

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  5. I didn't expect that ending, but it sure made me smile. A lovely dream indeed and so very true. Did you have this kind of dream when you had your surgery? Just wondering.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. These are indeed the kinds of dreams we wish we always had, Sandee. Every now and then my mind goes to such creative places! I wish I had dreamed something during surgery, or if I did remembered it, but alas it was just plain old out-cold routine! I am thankful though, everything went so very well!

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    1. Thank you Mimi! Sometimes when I write a story if goes together and feels "just right"! In a way this is my story, even if told in a fanciful setting. :-)

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  7. Great story! I really loved the ending. : )

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    1. Thanks Joseph! I was hoping to surprise a few people with what the story was really all about, that's why I kept the beginning a little vague. :-)

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  8. what a peaceful, reassuring tale.... lovely really.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Zoe! I believe that things like this really can and do happen, belief takes place on many levels, from the trusting innocence of a child to the profound acceptance of a much-experienced adult!

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  9. Often we find that our way is not the answer but persist anyway, if we are lucky we may geta second chance and find the right path and when we do we will know it. I loved Fiori's cottage!

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    1. You are so right, Robin... or in my case, a third chance or a forth chance... but finally the light dawned on my rock hard head when I quit banging it against the wall! Yes, when we find our intended path we know it, it fits just right! I loved that cottage too, it was like it was made for my story, even the color of the flowers matched my words!

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  10. What a wonderful and inspiring story! I love it, that she finds the story of hope in her 'sleep' amidst a rather trying experience - surgery/health issues. One of these days I'll whip up a Two Shoes worthy story for a Tuesday!!!
    Hugs! Hope you are doing better!

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    1. Thank you kindly, Carrie! This is one that I am really happy with, it is a tale of exactly what I believe, yes with a bit of fairytale magic, but then again maybe not! :-) I know your writing skills young lady, anything you write for us would far exceed my humble efforts and expectations and I'd be so happy to have you join us! One week after my surgery now, I am feeling amazingly good, very little soreness! Praise God!!

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  11. I liked the way you pulled us into this one...

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    1. Thank you Shimon, kind of a story within a story, it came to me that way, sometimes I only have to take what is in my mind and find the words to write it down. :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)